Wealthy Messi’s last World Cup

On November 22, in the 2022 Qatar World Cup group C first match, Saudi Arabia wins 2:1 against Argentina. The first match added variables to the last World Cup for Argentine captain Messi. A day before the pre-match press conference, Messi said “This is my last World Cup, and this is my last chance to achieve the great dream we all want.” As one of the world’s top players at the moment, he has almost all the honors, but only lacks a Hercules Cup. This is the 35-year-old Argentinean star’s fifth time on this supreme stage of soccer. As he grows older, Messi is starting to enter the later stages of his career. After four previous defeats, the World Cup results may determine his future business value and influence after retirement. And this is another reason why Messi is eager to win the World Cup. In the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Messi stepped on the highest stage of the soccer tournament for the first time as “the youngest player in Argentina’s history to play in the World Cup”. But Argentina lost to Germany on penalties in the quarterfinals, regretting the exit. Four years later, in the World Cup in South Africa, Argentina again lost to Germany in the quarterfinals 0:4, and Messi ended his second World Cup trip. In the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Messi led Argentina all the way to the top. But the final encountered the German team for the third time, and finally, Argentina lost 0:1 to the opponent. And in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Argentina was defeated by France in the eighth final.

Whether Messi wins the World Cup or not, not only Messi’s “dream” on the competitive level but perhaps the future business value will also play a key role. Player income is mainly divided into three parts, the regular player salary bonus and portrait rights share, brand endorsement income, and investment income. As one of football’s “Greatest Players”, Messi’s annual salary has always been at the top.

In January 2021, the Spanish newspaper El Mundo exclusively revealed the details of Messi’s contract at Barca on its front page. Since renewing his contract with the team in November 2017, Messi’s salary at Barca is €138 million per season, which includes a fixed salary, various bonuses, and portrait rights. Among them, the most striking is the two bonuses in the contract: one is the “renewal bonus” worth €115,225,000 million, and the other part is the “loyalty bonus” worth €77,929,955,000.

According to The Economist, Messi’s signing brought the club £612 million in revenue. And after signing Messi, Paris Saint-Germain signed with several well-known brands, earning an additional 13%. Meanwhile, the club doubled its value in the cryptocurrency market. According to public reports, before Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain, Paris Saint-Germain issued its own cryptocurrency with a single price of 19.14 euros. Since Messi joined, the cryptocurrency once surged to a single €42.50. “In the week following the signing of Messi, the price of the cryptocurrency soared.” Marc Armstrong said, marketing director of Paris Saint-Germain. In fact, Messi has already ventured into the NFT (a non-homogenized token) space. In November this year, Messi took a stake in Sorare, a digital soccer NFT collection platform.

Despite his club’s success, Messi has not been as good as he could have been on the national team. Messi made his Argentine national team debut back in August 2005. In the following 17 years, except for the 2008 Beijing Olympics where he led the Argentine National Olympic Team to a gold medal, he did not win any more honors for a long time after that. It was not until 2021 that Messi led Argentina to the Copa America title, taking home his first title with the Argentine national team. However, with his huge influence and traffic, Messi is still a great player in brand endorsement, he has endorsed many international brands such as Adidas, Turkish Airlines, Pepsi, etc., and frequently appears in outdoor, TV, website video, and other platforms.

In 2013, Tencent’s WeChat team hired Messi as a spokesperson to promote WeChat in overseas markets, and in March 2016, Messi signed a contract to become the global spokesperson of Huawei, and in February 2018, Mengniu Group announced a “brand spokesperson” partnership with Messi. In February 2018, Mengniu Group announced a brand endorsement partnership with Messi. In February 2018, Mengniu Group announced that it had entered into a “brand endorsement” partnership with Lionel Messi. Messi also invests in real estate, clothing, and other fields to build his business map.

According to Spanish media “Daily Sport” reported that Messi spent 30 million euros to buy a hotel in the southern seaside city of Barcelona as early as 2017, and renamed it “Sitges MiM Hotel”. In the following years, Messi bought five hotels again to create the “MiM” hotel chain brand. 

In addition to real estate, Messi also launched his personal clothing brand “M10” in 2019, as well as setting up an investment agency in 2022 to focus on projects in the sports, technology, and media sectors. In addition, he has previously acquired a 50% stake in Argentina’s most famous Cesarini youth camp, which will allow him to receive a 5% development fee for each young player transferred in the future, in accordance with FIFA regulations.

In May 2022, Sportico, a leading sports finance website, published its ranking of global athletes’ earnings in the past year, and Lionel Messi ranked second with $122 million, just behind American basketball star James.

In a world of rising stars, business value and performance are closely related. This World Cup may directly affect Messi’s career and even the IP business value after retirement.

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